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Kings vs. Grizzlies Preview: Loaded for bear

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Ed Szczepanski-USA TODAY Sports

The Kings are fresh off their first consecutive days off in a long while but shouldn't be too relaxed; They face a Memphis team coming off three straight blowout losses and they might look to take their frustrations out on Sacramento.  Tonight's game tips off at 5:00 pm Pacific on CSN California and KHTK Sports 1140.

3 THINGS TO LOOK FOR

1.  Memphis is going to be looking to prove something coming into this game.  They've just been blown out by the Cavaliers, Warriors and Spurs, with two of those losses coming at home.  They're on the second night of a back to back though and the Kings have actually played them pretty well in all three matches this year.  The Kings have enough physicality to fight back against the Grizzlies.

2. Memphis loves to attack the paint and are an even less prolific three point shooting team than Sacramento despite having some very capable shooters.  That's both by design and partly due to personnel given that guys like Zach Randolph and Gasol are so good down low.

3. Could this be a game where Carl Landry finally breaks into the rotation?  Landry isn't necessarily in the doghouse but he doesn't seem to fit the style of play that Karl likes to play.  This is interesting to me in that Landry was a key cog for Warriors teams that liked to run and score and I still think he's a very capable player, too good to just be wallowing on the bench.

MATCHUP OF THE GAME

Zach Randolph vs. Unknown

The Kings have started playing with a smaller lineup, using Rudy Gay at the four and Omri Casspi at the three.  Memphis is the first team they've played where that strategy might fall apart, as both Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol are big bruisers who could give the Kings frontline trouble.  It will be interesting to see if George Karl opts to continue this strategy or instead reverts to a more traditional starting lineup.  I think Jason Thompson has actually done a pretty good job against Randolph in the past and should be given the opportunity to check him from the get-go.  I also expect we'll see more of Reggie Evans in this game.

PREGAME LIMERICK

Rudy Gay is back to where it started,
the team that blossomed after they parted.
He'll score aplenty,
at least twenty,
and then tell the media how much Z-Bo farted.

PREDICTION

Kings 94, Grizzlies 91 after the game is decided between Reggie Evans and Zach Randolph in a "Who can eat the most ribs contest.  Reggie wins by hiding a few extra ribs in his beard.